A highly prized Picasso painting owned by the estate of Sir Sean Connery is to be auctioned off for Scottish charities.
The ‘Buste d’homme dans un cadre’ is expected to fetch over £15m when it goes under the hammer at Christie’s 20th and 21st Century Art Sale in Hong Kong on May 26.
The family of the late James Bond actor are selling the artwork, painted in 1969, after he requested that a philanthropic trust be sent up in his name after his death.
Connery bought the iconic painting a few years before his death aged 90 in October 2020.
The Sean Connery Philanthropic Fund will donate money to charities in Scotland and the Bahamas, where the actor lived for over 30 years.
His son, Stephane Connery, said the family were now working to offer support to organisations that “reflect Sean’s interests and passions.”
He said: “Sean had an extraordinary sense of aesthetics, composition and movement honed by his career in a visual medium as well as his long marriage to Micheline, a fine and internationally exhibited painter.
“Further, he truly enjoyed visiting museums which sharpened his discerning eye. Our last visits included the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Barnes Collection, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., shortly before he decided to purchase “Buste d’homme dans un cadre”.
“He loved and owned numerous works by Picasso, and upon seeing ‘Buste d’homme dans un cadre’ he was captivated by its expressive power and freedom.
“It seems fitting that this work would be sold in Asia as Sean had a tremendous affinity for Asia and its culture. Before Sean passed away in 2020, he allocated a sizable portion of his estate to be used for philanthropic purposes.
“We are now working to create a fund that will offer support to organisations that reflect Sean’s interests and passions, and serve to keep his legacy of integrity, opportunity and effectiveness alive.
“These efforts will be focused in Scotland, where Sean was born, and the Bahamas, where he lived for over 30 years and adored like his homeland.”
Adrien Meyer, co-chairman of impressionist & modern art, Christie’s, said: “It is a privilege for Christie’s to have been entrusted by the family of Sir Sean Connery with the sale of this fabulous Picasso self-portrait.
“No wonder is it that a titan of the film industry was drawn to this tour de force by the greatest modern art titan of all.
“Appearing at auction for the first time, this is simply one of the best works by the artist of his late period to ever come to market.”